【An open letter to Dr Tedros 一封致予譚德塞博士的公開信】
This is an open letter to Dr Tedros, the Director General of the WHO, in response to the accusations against Taiwan during the 8th of April WHO press conference.
Dear Dr Tedros,
I am Vivi Lin from Taiwan, a current undergraduate student studying Infectious Diseases in the UK.
Upon hearing your response in the press conference today, I was utterly shocked and saddened that such misleading allegations could come from a supposedly respected health professional and the head of the world’s most influential international health organisation.
As a student who has been working closely with Taiwanese and British Medical and Health-related NGOs, I can affirm that there has never been any disrespectful comments from our government and our diplomats towards you and the African continent due to race, culture or skin colour.
I am aware that there are various petitions online urging for your resignation from the WHO. However, none of the requests or criticisms were based on discriminations against your race or skin colour, nor people from the African continent.
Taiwan has been striving to contribute as much as possible to the international community and to be a part of the global team in combating this pandemic. Although we have been excluded from the WHO, we have never given up. Our government has done an exemplary job in containing the virus, a feat that has been praised by officials and health professionals from all around the world. And now, as we have some spare capacity, we are sending aid to our allies and other countries, including those in America, Europe and in Africa who have been harshly impacted by the outbreak.
According to our health professionals who used to work closely with various countries in Africa, a temporary hospital has been built by Taiwan in Eswatini at the moment, and some important medical supplies sent by Taiwan are finding their way to Africa as well.
With all the aforementioned in mind, how can you, in a few sentences, attempt to smear Taiwan’s reputation with such irresponsible and false accusations?
In the past two days, WHO hosted webinars in regards to how we, as individuals or as health professionals and officials, should confront the current info-demic. Ironically, just right after the webinar, Dr Tedros, as the DG of the WHO, was accusing Taiwan with misinformation.
I firmly believe that health is a fundamental human right that should not be denied despite differences of any kind. Health for all, leave no one behind is also the core value that the WHO stands for. Please do not forget your dedication as a public health professional and the vows that you made when you ascended to the honorable position you are sitting at right now - health of people in the world comes first, not politics.
We are now facing the most challenging health crisis of our time. Taiwan cares about people’s health. We are willing to help, and we are helping now. Taiwan is a country that stands for progressive values, and we, as the Taiwanese people, are also known for our appreciation for diversity. We have never criticised you nor your actions based on your race, culture or skin colour.
I, on behalf of my beloved country and people, am now asking for an apology from you under the current circumstance.
Thank you for your time.